Repetitive Strain Injury/neck strain


hello Julie, lately I have been been having neck strain working on the computer at night. then afterward I have been feeling unbalanced making walking in my house slightly difficult. I do arch my neck to look at the computer screen and I think that is what causing the strain. can neck strain cause balancing problems when I walk and how do I correct this.

Hi Christopher,

Yes, neck strain can definitely cause you to have balance problems, especially if you have your head turned slightly while you're looking at your computer. The problem comes from your sternocleidomastoid (SCM for short) muscle.  This muscle originates on your sternum (breast bone) and on your clavicle (collarbone) and inserts into the bone at the back of your ear, the mastoid bone.

Inside of the mastoid bone are the tiny bones that tap together in order for you to hear (called the ossicles). When the SCM is tight from a repetitive strain injury, it is pulling on the mastoid bone, and upsetting the alignment of the ossicles. This misalignment can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ear), ear pain, and lightheaded/dizziness.

When you are arching your neck you are also straining the muscles in the back on your neck (splenius capitis, splenius cervicis, and levator scapulae) and they can cause neck pain.

If you go to you can read about repetitive strain injury by going to the sections titled "muscles and joint pain" and "What's Happening Exactly."  The good news is that you can learn to easily self-treat the SCM (and all the muscles of your neck),and it would be a good idea to do that if you spend long periods at the computer.

Wishing you well,
   Julie Donnelly  

Repetitive Strain Injury

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Julie Donnelly, LMT


I can accept questions that relate to chronic or acute pain caused by muscle spasms and contractions. Repetitive Strain Injury is actually Cumulative Trauma to muscles. Releasing the spasm &/or contraction will relieve the strain that is felt at the insertion point on the bone. I am the co-developer of the unique safe-stretching program "Focused Flexibility Training," which combines easy instruction for self-treating spasms throughout your body with proven yoga stretches. I have recently authored two new books: "The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution," and "The Secret to Your Best Golf Game EVER!


Since 1989 I have been working with endurance athletes and individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions. I have authored seven self-treatment books and three self-treatment DVDs and I have developed the Julstro System for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, Trigger Finger, and other Hand/Wrist pain. I am a national and international presenter at conventions, seminars, and workshops. Principle topics are "Work Shouldn't Hurt," and "The Pain Free Athlete." In 2005 and 2006 I was the massage therapist for ultracyclists competing in the Race Across America (RAAM) 3000+ mile race from San Diego, CA to Atlantic City, NJ. I've taught the Julstro techniques to physical therapists at the Cleveland Clinic, to massage therapists in areas around the USA, and I've taught Julstro self-treatment clinics to dancers at Juilliard School of Performing Arts (NYC),the sprinting team at NC State, and I am working closely with several Olympic-hopeful. We have successfully eliminated the repetitive strain injuries that could keep them out of the Olympic Games, and the best part is they know how to do the self-treatments so they can stay pain-free and flexible.

Triathlete Magazine, Endurance Magazine, multiple national and international trade journals.

Swedish Institute of Allied Health, NY, NY - Initial education in massage therapy Licensed NYS Massage Therapist since 1989. SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY - B.Sc. degree in Interdisciplinary Health Education I was an Associate Professor helping to develop the massage training program for SUNY Rockland Community College

Past/Present Clients
Privacy prevents me from filling in this section without prior consent from my clients. Life Experience: I have been specializing in the treatment of chronic pain and sports injuries since receiving my NY massage license in 1989. A personal bout with carpal tunnel syndrome was the catalyst to my developing a self-treatment that heals the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome quickly and without surgery. My work with endurance athletes was the inspiration to teach people how to self-treat so they could stop pains even during a race or heavy training day. Both of these situations ultimately became the products that are sold on my websites: and I currently treat people in my offices in Sarasota, FL, Cary, NC, or Pearl River, NY

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